Thinking while I work. That’s a challenge!

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 in Money, Study | 0 comments

I have been working on and off with a cool little business called Data-Label. They make all sorts of self adhesive labels for business, and that ranges from the branded stickers that a car dealer might put in the back window of a used car to some interesting security applications for tracking hardware and office goods. These latter labels are tamper evident so that you can’t peel it off one item and then apply it to another without damaging it. But the most useful thing is that they can be linked to your barcode system and that’s how I came across them in the first place. I looked them up when we were sock taking in the pub as I was convinced that there must be a better way of doing it all that just writing on the barrels and then taking notes in a book.

It was a woman who I met at The Beech who I wanted to write about here. This could take me a while as I need to properly get my head around what she does.

I have a vested interest. She was telling me about all sorts of different training courses that she runs for people in business, and people just trying to sort their lives out.

We started talking about it because she asked me how I like my job and I said that sometimes it’s so much fun I forget that I have to find a real job sometimes. And that seemed to open the gates because one of the things the woman does, let’s call her Linda, is to help people think through difficult decisions. I’m going to write about her tomorrow – and I’m going to introduce her to some of the places I work with – like Data Label.

How do I veer around subjects in quite such a random fashion?

It’s all good fun.

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Kristen on writing.

Posted on Dec 8, 2013 in Study | 0 comments

I’ve been trying to calm down my blog posts of late, instead of setting out to provoke my family and shock anyone foolish enough to read the garbage that I’ve written I thought it would be good to just spend some time reflecting and enjoying a bit of writing for pleasure.

Who knows? One day I might even progress on to trying to actually write well. If I could master the art of brevity I’m sure I’d get more marks for essays, the trouble is once I get started I tend to just ramble on and never go back over what I’ve written to try to work out which bits are worth saving and which just need a heavy application of the select delete.

I think it was Lincoln (brilliant film by the way, slow as anything I have ever watched, but beautifully acted, amazing casting and, well, it just blew me away) who is credited with saying to a friend of his at the end of a letter “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.”

I’d like to write like Orwell, or Hemingway, spare, wanting, concise. Funny for a left wing woman of dubious sexual orientation to desire the writing techniques of two out dated misogynists, but I hope that shows a degree of open mindedness to their skill as opposed to just being obsessed with damning their attitudes towards their women.

Of course I could be obvious and want to write like Jeannette Winterson, but as it is I love her work but don’t envy the output. I want them to say that I wrote not a word that had no purpose.

But it won’t happen.

After all, look at this!

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Cinema Advertising

Posted on Nov 21, 2013 in Culture, Study | 0 comments

As part of our media studies modules we had a fellow present to us today on cinema advertising and cinema usage. He was from a company called Pearl and Dean who everyone seems to have heard of except me.

That doesn’t matter though, it was the presentation that I was excited by.

I have always loved cinema advertising, but never really thought about it.

I get really agitated if we’re going to the cinema and whoever I’m going with are late for the ads. I don’t care that they may go on for ages, the ones that are specially made for cinema are usually amazing.

OK, so I can’t stand the Kevin Bacon ads for EE, they are enough to convince me never to get an EE phone, but give me a great car ad, those Dove Real Beauty ads from last year, some of the perfume ads (there’s a beautiful one for Armani, and the Charlize Theron ad for Dior is possibly my favourite ad ever).

It turns out that the business the fellow works for is the media company for many of the cinemas, and they sell the space. I was a little lost on the business aspect and instead i was always just waiting for the next set of film clips he played. I think I’d like to get involved in making the little films like these. I bet there’s huge budgets and loads of geeky kids like me running around pretending to have important things to do for the director, or for the talent, when actually we’re just desperate to look like we have something to do. Fortunately there is so much money thrown at the thing that everyone knows it’s a con, but they’re in on the act.

Media Studies – I thought that was just a game, but I’m beginning to enjoy it after all.


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Sleep and Teenage Life

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 in Education, Study | 0 comments

It’s only recently that I have realised the way I felt through much of my teens was actually natural.

I was exhausted.

And yet when I read about other kids I also realise that I was a lot better at coping than most.

swimmers#I was a swimmer, a competition swimmer. If you’ve not known someone who swims you won’t know just how draining it is, but also exhilarating.

It’s not just the child who ends up drained either, there has to be a dedicated parent who is driving them on, taking them to the pool stupidly early most mornings a week to train, before the early morning influx of business people. That means getting to the pool at six. Swimming hard, really hard, being balled at by the coach, until seven when the pool would then open for non-club swimmers. I’d shower at the pool to avoid risk of bathroom wars at home, and then make and eat a healthy breakfast. All before my lazy ass brothers had even got themselves out of bed.

Because of this I couldn’t do that late night thing that most of my mates did. I’d be in bed by 9pm and I’d usually read for an hour or so before falling asleep with my book on top of me, and the light on.

But although I was going to bed really early I wasn’t getting any more than seven and a half hours sleep, though research suggests now that nine hours is what teenagers need. No wonder I was knackered all the time.

Throw in puberty, a madly confusing family situation. A strong mother determined to ensure that her only daughter was strong minded and strong willed and it’s a miracle that I cope in society at all! I think I was happy, I was often angry, but only with the challenges life threw at me, like brothers.

It wasn’t normal. School was hard, yet my grades seemed to come easily. It’s because I was forced to work hard, use pass papers (my friends at University are now using this handy little site for help with their essays), revise, debate with teachers, debate at home at meal times. It’s a good job I didn’t understand the word precocious, it would have only deepened my paranoia!

If I ever have children I’ll help them sleep and sleep and sleep. I will encourage them to do sport though. I know for sure it kept me out of trouble, and gave me the discipline to study hard.

Image of swimmers courtesy of Brittany Randolph

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A new essay title

Posted on Oct 30, 2013 in Study | 0 comments

I have no qualms about the fact that this exposes me as a pretentious twat, but I don’t care. I have decided that I am going to weave my next essay around the title of “The bicycle as a tool for democratic levelling.”

Look I know that I’m up my own arse, but I actually believe that I’m on to something here that’s potentially rather interesting.

It all came about when I was riding along another two path this afternoon. I came across a chap who had punctured and I stopped and asked if he needed any help.

“Thanks very much.” He responded, sounding dead posh. “But it’s only a puncture. Rather than mend it here I’ll pop in a spare inner tube and I’ll be on my way”.

And that could have been that, but for whatever reason I hung on, and packed his stuff away as he was pumping up his tyre. We bantered a bit and it transpires he asked me what I do for a living. “Student” I told him, expecting any grain of interest he might have had to evaporate. But instead he was interested and we chatted a bit, and then rode towards Altrincham. By the time I left I discovered that he was a research director at Siemens working on making more efficient wind farms.

It forced me to take stock a bit and consider how the bike makes us more equal. OK so his bike mat have been amazing, but in fact it was the same brand as mine (which is actually Suzy’s, but that’s another story). He probably earns a fortune, but when you’re on the bike you have no way of telling, and it won’t make him any faster even if he is wealthy.

And hence my new topic that I’ll bore people with for weeks to come.

Like it?

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